Laura Vandekam has been pushing planning things on weekends. Not doing chores, of course, but something Fun! Something you can look forward to All Week! Don’t waste a single weekend day!
I’m as type-A a planning person as almost anybody (I suspect #2 isn’t), but I get a little angry at the thought of someone taking away my occasional (more frequent now) completely unplanned weekend day (and #2 even more so) because somehow that’s supposed to make me happier. It’s mine! You can’t have it! You can’t make me get dressed!
Planning requires mental load. It requires looking at the clock. It requires not being able to be completely relaxed. It means if something comes up you have to make a choice and lose an option instead of just going with the flow. It may even require getting out of bed at a certain time (and certainly requires getting out of bed at some point) and putting on day clothes.
Oh, but it could be something as simple as going for a jog by yourself (whose idea of fun is THAT?) or having a friend drop by to socialize or going to church. All of these options require *effort*. All require putting on clothes. What could be better than lazing around the house in one’s pajamas? Not having to put on pants unless and until one feels like it?
But if you were a sports fan (we’re not), you wouldn’t resent having to go to your favorite sports team’s game if you had tickets? Well, actually, I am a big fan of many kinds of arts (definitely not sports… especially not ones that involve sitting outside to watch), but I do resent having to remember to go, having to make sure I’m dressed appropriately, having to deal with driving and parking, and having to stay up past my bedtime. Plus, since we live in a small town, all such events tend to be on weekday nights anyway. If I want to enjoy a weekend arts event, that requires driving into the city, something that is a major production so we only do it about once a month. And we generally need to have the next day off to recover… doing nothing… so as to hit Monday ready to work again.
In fact, there aren’t many things in this small town that I want to do more than laze about at home with my family. Maybe even *gasp* doing chores. Because doing chores on the weekend together is actually kind of fun, even though it couldn’t possibly be, and even though chores should be crammed into the weekdays instead or hired out (nobody touches my underpants who isn’t related to me!). We’re even a bit tired of things to do in the nearest real city (there’s only so many times one can see each museum and zoo and park) and have been considering exploring farther away large cities.
Now, when we were living in a city, it was much easier to have low-key planned activities every day without having to worry about stress or the clock. We could walk to the Saturday farmer’s market, we could walk to a sushi place and a frozen yogurt place and to the library (which was even open on Sunday!). The weather also tended to stay in the 2-digit range which made it easier to take advantage of such things. And there were lots of untried restaurants and free activities a short drive away on the weekends (when traffic wasn’t as bad). The bar to doing things was lower and they didn’t have to be truly planned with a set time. Even so, the occasional weekend day off always ended with my partner saying, “I had a good day today.” And I would reply, “Me too.”
Occasionally when I get cabin fever we’ll take an unplanned day and just get in the car and drive! Those lead to fun times too, even if completely spur of the moment. Sadly this part of the country has fewer bakeries and ice cream shops per capita than other parts of the country in which we have lived. But we still find the occasional random tea shop or pie place.
Now, we’re not saying you should never do anything on the weekend. We do something most weekends. But we also cherish our days off. The ones where we don’t get up until late (totally wasting the morning!) and the answer to, “Did we have anything planned today?” (or if partner is asking, “Do we have anywhere we need to be at?”) is “No.” If you’re not happy with doing nothing, by all means, start planning stuff. But if the thought of someone making you do something more on weekends makes you feel a bit possessive, then by golly, don’t force yourself to plan more activities. Listen to your boredom and listen to your stress, and you should be ok.
There’s a reason many religions celebrate a Sabbath.
Vive la no pants!
Do you think every day of your life should be planned so that you get things done and always have something to look forward to?